"The Inmates Don’t Know It’s An Asylum"
From Bill Buckler's latest edition of The Privateer
The Inmates Don’t Know It’s An Asylum
There is a line from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead which we have always enjoyed. It is stated by the main villain of the story - Ellsworth Toohey - in a one-sided conversation in which he is explaining that he was always after political power and never hid his ambitions but nobody wanted to “believe it”. The quote goes like this: “Never bother to examine a folly. Ask yourself only what it accomplishes.”
Lenin had a different take on the same problem faced by all would be power mongers. He knew he had to be reasonably obvious in what he told the people about his plans and goals. But not too obvious. He knew he had to tailor his pitch so that it would have the maximum amount of resonance with the maximum number of unthinking people. He doted on such people. He called them “useful idiots”.
Today, the “movers and shakers” of the financial world abound in such useful idiots. It has been a long road from the 1930s Keynesian mantra that “we owe it to ourselves” to today’s masters of the universe with their incomprehensible computer “algorithms” fuelled by the ability of modern computers to crunch almost unlimited sequences of “1s” and “0s”. The entire road has been paved with one goal in mind. To convince the “people” that the only road to financial “safety” is to give up their thinking processes and “delegate” them to those who claim to know what they are doing.
The problem today is that the results of this delegation are so obvious that the methods of those who produced them are beginning to be questioned. It has been a long time coming. When we reach a market situation where nobody wants to play unless the game is terminally rigged, then the whole idea of “markets” has gone by the boards. Nobody wants to “punt” unless their bets are guaranteed in advance. That’s no way to run a horse race - or a global financial system.